Distance: 14 km
Elevation Gain: 1324 m (4344 ft)
Time: 9 hours
Date Added: May 28, 2009
Last Update: May 16, 2010
Mount Decoeli is a pyramidal peak you can see from Haines Junction. From the summit on a clear day you get a sweeping view of the mountains, valleys, and icefields of Kluane National Park.
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From Haines Junction, drive north along the Alaska Highway for about 20 kms. Just north of the Bear Creak Summit sign, there is a pull-out on the left.
Only the winter route has been recorded.
There isn't much snow in this wind-swept region, so winter doesn't provide too many challenges. The creek is frozen and packed snow can make the going fairly easy. You are however still in avalanche terrain once you reach the base of the mountain and moraine.
Note: Overnight trips in Kluane National Park and Reserve require registration and approved bear resistant food canisters. Please visit the Park's website for details.
From the south end of the pull-out, there is an obvious trail. You will follow along this trail which is along-side the creek for about 5 km. At about KM 5, you will reach the base of a rock glacier.
The rock glacier is a decent place to camp if you are staying overnight. It is at the base of the mountain and right before any steep inclines.
From the moraine, walk up the far scree ridge to the right side of the valley. Follow the ridge all the way to the summit. It is basically scree the whole way up for the most direct route. If you head further up the valley there is a less direct route with less scree. Return the same way.
From the rock glacier, with Decoeli on your right, there is another ridge to your left which is a nice hike. Depending on the time of year and the amount of snow, you can either follow the gully left of the rock glacier all the way up to a saddle, or hike up a scree ridge.
Either way, walk for about 1km from the rock glacier camping area either on the rock glacier or in the gully beside it (left). Climb the ridge or the gully to the saddle. After climbing for another 1km, you will reach a alpine plateau that is filled with ground squirrels. There is a nice viewpoint into the other cirque at the far end of this plateau area.
If you want to continue, you can climb up the ridge towards the summit. Hike up the screen slope for a couple hundred meters. At the top, you can continue along the ridge or turn back down the same way you came up.
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